23 December 2004

An especially persistent wikispammer has forced me to ban his IP address block. Apologies to anyone unfortunate enough to share bandwidth with this individual.

Posted 06:38 PM

This isn't really news, so much as recognition of something most people have known for a while. Sematech believes that ultra-low-k materials -- effective k below 2.5 -- may not be economically practical. Even for circuits where interconnect dominates performance, ultra-low-k materials may not provide enough benefit to justify their cost.

Posted 09:43 AM

21 December 2004

Holiday cheer, brought to you by Google.

Posted 11:37 AM

20 December 2004

After years of experiments, I think I can say that I've discovered the world's least friendly electronic document distribution format: PDF-format PowerPoint presentations.

PDF by itself is painful, but at least it's usually a printer-friendly format.

While PowerPoint presentations as a genre often plumb the depths of Bad Design Hell, you can edit all that stuff out if you're sufficiently determined. But only if you have the native PowerPoint file.

Combine the two, and you have the worst of both worlds. Completely unprintable design horrors, and no way to get rid of them.

This rant was inspired by completely useless super-high resolution clip art. My trusty laser printer has as much memory as it will hold, but still took more than five minutes per page to render this beast. Times a 29-page presentation. And I didn't even try to print the one with the even more evil toner-sucking dark background.

Seriously, people. I know your designers charged you lots of money for that cool logo graphic. But if you use it on every single page of every single presentation, you're only going to annoy the ink-stained wretches of the press who have to comb through these things looking for information. At best, we'll simply ignore everything you have to say. At worst, we'll drag your prized brand image through the mud in sheer frustration.

Every electronic document that leaves your office should be easily printable and readable in plain old boring black ink on white paper.

Posted 03:55 PM

The LA Times presents its Hall of Shame, the worst journalism of 2004. It's a long list, but I had to smile (or maybe grimace) at the story of Bart Ripp, former restaurant reviewer. (Towards the end.) After he was forced out for inventing sources, it turned out that he'd been demanding free meals and other goodies from restaurant owners.

Posted 09:29 AM

How's this for a fireworks display? Next July 4, NASA plans to blow up a comet.

(Actually, the comet is expected to survive. The idea is to use the impact crater to look at the comet's interior.)

Posted 09:21 AM


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